Handset falls

Published: Monday 30 November -0001

-- The mobile phone company Nokia is being hit by a growing economic boycott in Iran. Consumers sympathetic to the post-election protest movement are targeting companies deemed to be collaborating with the regime. Wholesale vendors in Tehran report that demand for Nokia handsets has fallen by as much as half in the wake of calls to boycott Nokia.

nsn, Nokia's joint venture with Siemens, provided Iran with a monitoring system as it expanded a mobile network last year.

The company says the technology is provided to dozens of countries, but protesters say nsn should have provided the network without the monitoring function.

Siemens is also accused of providing Iran with an Internet filtering system, Webwasher.

"Nokia mobiles have been Iranians' first choice for several years.But in the past weeks, priorities have changed," said Reza, a mobile phone seller in Tehran's Big Bazaar. Hashem, another mobile phone vendor, said, "We had customers who wanted to exchange their Nokia handsets with handsets of any other company."

A Nokia spokesperson refused to comment on the company's sales in Iran.

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